Monday, August 31, 2020

Chasing Sunsets

Its 7:40pm on a Sunday evening i decide to go to a park nearby and cycle. By the the time i reach the park it's 7:50pm. The sunset is at 7:55 so i can ride my bike until dusk.

As i enter the park i see teenagers playing basketball, some playing cricket while the children are busy cycling.

As i ride further i see two ladies
chit chatting as their kids are running around in the park.

I ride through the housing area nearby where i see a cat running around the bush. An old woman is sitting in her balcony reading a book and watching the sky change it's colours.

I take a few more rounds listening to relaxing music.

At around 8:25pm it's starts to get dark, i go through the park towards a bench and sit for a while.

Around 8:30ish i head back home and call it a day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Trek to Irshalgad

Once the monsoon casts it's spell, the entire Karjat region puts up a brilliant show for anyone who has the time to stand and stare. Teeming and bustling with life, it is home to everything from lush trees and waterfalls to an  incredible diversity of flora and fauna. And the best time to visit is right now. 
     It was 4:30 am in the morning, i was busy making sandwiches to relish it during my trek. It was a rather cold and humid Sunday morning and we were all set for our day long adventurous trek. Near my city Mumbai, there are many trekking options, So we decided to choose the one at Irshalgad, Karjat. Irashalwadi is a tiny village in Karjat which is in the Thane District and it's the starting point for most hikers. From Karjat railway station we took a tum-tum (rickshaw which is a 10 seater) and began our journey towards Irshalwadi which is surrounded by lush trees. We met our fellow trekkers from Nomad Hikers and had a brief introductory session. After introduction we had a quick breakfast and started ascend towards the mountain. 

The steep climb knocked the wind out of us, but the scenic view took our breath away. We saw mountains cascading waterfalls and greenery everywhere.

After about 15 mins we started gasping for our breath. Soon we nature lovers started clicking pictures of dramatic skies overlooking a green landscape, but it started raining which was a little disappointing for a photography enthusiast like me. But i love the rains and so we put our windcheaters, kept our phones and cameras safely in our bags and continued our journey. As we made our way up, civilization shrunk away below, and the landscape started transforming rapidly. The air started getting cleaner. The narrow path was treacherous at times, the rocks became slippery with rain water and the drops were sudden. Even with windcheaters on we were completely soaked.

We reached a point on our trail where i thought we had reached the summit but we were only halfway up. After walking for an hour or two, we took a break and plopped ourselves on a rock at the edge overlooking the valley. While having lunch it was raining so heavily that even our food was getting wet and water was filling in our tiffin boxes. 

The clouds were swaying so near us. We could not see anything for sometime. We continued our journey and then there came a vertical climb. This was the most difficult part. But with the help of our trek leader we could achieve this feat. 

We soon reached the summit with an unbridled view of the open skies. Irshalgad looked picture perfect, surrounded by mountains, with clouds often descending on the small hamlet. We were blown away by a strong gust of wind and the picturesque surrounding blew our mind.

 "The wind blows the hardest the closer you are to the top of the mountain". It was exactly it, the wind was so strong that we had to hold on to a rock or the ground. It was a sight to behold. As we sat down to soak in the view, it was hard to believe that beauty this stark and untouched could exist today. 

We started descend and again it started pouring heavily. The rocks were now slippery than ever. Though the steep descent took a toll on our knees, it was a trek to be remembered for a lifetime. It makes us hold on to the memory of sitting at that spot, amid the incredible but transient beauty.

As you are reading this, a natural phenomenon is painting an area into a picture-perfect postcard that you can troll into.

Getting there : Dadar->Karjat-> Irshalwadi 

Best time to visit : June-September

Distance from Mumbai : 49.5 km  

Also Visit : Matheran